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Passport to Your National Parks Stamp Site

Looking for Lincoln 2The Genealogy & Local History Library is proud to announce that we are one of the newest Passport to Your National Parks stamp sites! Alton is part of the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area (ALNHA) and was named an official Looking for Lincoln community in September. That designation allowed local organizations to become part of the ALNHA’s National Park Service passport program.

There are a total of 21 Looking for Lincoln passport sites in Illinois. In addition to Alton, ALNHA communities include Springfield, Bloomington/Normal, Quincy, Charleston, and Danville. Each community can only have one or two passport stamp locations, so we’re very lucky to be a designated site. Passport stamps are free to collect and if you don’t already have a National Park Service Passport, they are available for sale at the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB).

The passport program provides opportunities for visitors to explore the communities where Lincoln lived, worked, and traveled in Illinois. The CVB has always promoted the Alton area’s connection to Lincoln and was on board immediately. “Being a passport stamp site is really an added benefit for the region,” Alton Regional CVB President and CEO Brett Stawar said. “We have a rich Lincoln heritage in Alton, and bringing in the passport will give visitors a great reason to come walk with us in Mr. Lincoln’s footsteps. The popularity of the National Park Service’s passport program will be another reason to love our destination.”

When the staff at CVB contacted Hayner about being the second Alton site, we were very thrilled. The Genealogy & Local History Library made perfect sense as a passport stamp site. The library has many historic books about Abraham Lincoln and generally has Lincoln photographs and artifacts on display. In the mid-1850’s Lincoln’s law partner, William Herndon was a speaker in the Alton Library Association’s lecture series. We even have some items reportedly owned by Mary Todd Lincoln at the library. We also have an original letter from Mr. Lincoln to Simeon Ryder dated from 1844.

In Alton, you can get your National Parks passport stamped at the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), 200 Piasa Street, or the Hayner Genealogy & Local History Library, 401 State Street. Being a passport site is very exciting for us and we are looking forward to being part of the Lincoln experience. For more information about the program, check out the Looking for Lincoln website http://www.lookingforlincoln.com/Explore/NPSPassportProgram.aspx. We hope to see you and your passport at the library soon!